On Wellbeing

15th January 2024

Rethinking Blue Monday – you’re welcome!

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Blue Monday for those of you who didn’t know was a concept dreamt up in 2005 by marketer Dr Cliff Arnall to sell holidays. Pure genius. After all, who doesn’t want to start planning breaks in sunnier climates when our weather is wet and grey?

The concept was based on a number of negative variables which most of us experience early on in January.

His formula:

where W= weather, D=debt, d=monthly salary, T=time since Christmas, Q=time since failed quit attempt, M=low motivation levels, Na=need (to take) action.

But does his theory hold any weight? No is the short answer. We all are a ‘laboratory of one’, with good and bad days and huge variations in our mental health.

The almost impossible to quantify and arbitrary variables have since been described as meaningless by the author, as well as psychologists. Yet nearly 20 years later marketeers and PR firms still tout the third Monday in January as the most depressing day of the year.

Don’t let the media lull you into believing Blue Monday is inevitable. January is a challenging month but looking for small wins and positive moments each day is a helpful and simple strategy. Holiday plans are great but there are 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week to get through. Looking for the good in every day is a more sustained strategy.

On Wellbeing is a mental health support system for organisations. Our digital platform creates bespoke learning tools to help individuals become more resilient and cope better with stress and anxiety. The three pillars of the app provide a comprehensive solution to mental health which includes the hard to reach. Your Toolbox houses skills-based games and tools, Your Space provides a platform for gratitude and purpose, Your Community brings individuals back to the organisation by showcasing what is already available to them.